Saturday, February 28, 2015

EOTD with NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette

I purchased this.

Yesterday I posted swatches of the NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow palette. I did this look using five of the colors from the palette. They blend so beautifully, and even though I applied them at 6:45 a.m., they were still going strong--no fading or creasing--when I washed my face 15 hours later.




WHAT I USED:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance all around eye area
Tarte Free Spirit on brow bone
NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow palette:
  - Ursa Major on outer 1/3 of lid and lower lash line
  - Himalia on center 1/3 of lid and lower lash line
  - Europa on inner 1/3 of lid and lower lash line
  - Andromeda to highlight inner corner
  - Subra applied as upper lash liner with Darling Girl Cosmetics Superstar Serum
Benefit They're Real! mascara (two coats)
Chinovi Cosmetics brow powders in Dark Brown and Deep Auburn

Friday, February 27, 2015

Swatches: NARS NARSissist Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette

I purchased this.

I've had this little beauty sitting unused for about three weeks because I desperately wanted to take pictures of it before I used it, but these are the darkest months of the year, and I've been incredibly lighting-challenged. You have no idea how much self-control I had to subject myself to in order to keep from using it before I was able to get photos!


The NARS Narsissist palette is limited edition and includes seven shades that are available in NARS's line of Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow singles plus one shade that is unique to this palette (Ursa Major).

Oops, I forgot to move the protective sheet, so the mirror looks dusty!
Top row, L-R: Europa, Himalia, Ursa Major, Subra
Bottom row, L-R: Andromeda, Lysithea, Giove, Sycorax


Top row, L-R: Europa, Himalia, Ursa Major, Subra
Bottom row, L-R: Andromeda, Lysithea, Giove, Sycorax

Anyone who has been playing with makeup long enough knows that it's often possible to achieve more intense color payoff by applying the shadows wet, aka "foiling" them. However, this palette is formulated specifically to be used wet or dry for different effects. And so, of course I swatched them both dry and wet.

L-R: Europa dry/Europa wet, Himalia dry/Himalia wet, Ursa Major dry/Ursa Major wet, Subra dry/Subra wet

L-R: Europa dry/Europa wet, Himalia dry/Himalia wet, Ursa Major dry/Ursa Major wet, Subra dry/Subra wet

These are definitely no regular shadows that are simply a little more intense when they're foiled. The formula is so soft, buttery, and even when applied both dry and wet. When moistened, they take on an almost paste-like consistency and become incredibly thick and intense. I have one other wet/dry palette from another brand and I really do love it, but the quality of this NARS formula is beyond anything I've ever seen before.

L-R: Andromeda dry/Andromeda wet, Lysithea dry/Lysithea wet, Giove dry/Giove wet, Sycorax dry/Sycorax wet

L-R: Andromeda dry/Andromeda wet, Lysithea dry/Lysithea wet, Giove dry/Giove wet, Sycorax dry/Sycorax wet

My favorite color is Himalia, both dry and wet. You know I love my browns, and Himalia is an absolutely gorgeous warm-toned golden brown shade. My second favorite is probably a tie between Europa (dry) and Lysithea (dry). I don't typically care for silver and gray shades, but Lysithea is such a gorgeous steel gray that my heart may have skipped a beat when I first swatched it. I think Ursa Major, Subra, Giove, and Sycorax will all make amazing eyeliner shades when applied wet. Andromeda will make a beautiful inner corner highlight both dry and wet. Every single color in this palette is absolutely gorgeous and of the highest quality.

This palette is absolutely a winner and I'm so glad I splurged on it. I'm especially glad that I had a gift card that I saved from Christmas that I put toward purchasing it, since this palette costs a pretty penny at $79. While the pans in this palette are smaller than their single eye shadow counterparts (0.03 oz per palette pan versus 0.05 per full size shadow), this palette is an excellent value: it allows you to try several shades from NARS's regular line of Dual-Intensity Eyeshadows at a significantly lower cost than buying the singles alone. For the cost of this palette, you can only purchase 2 full size shadows, as they're $29 each (but they really are worth every penny!)

In addition to this palette, I also own one single Dual Intensity Eyeshadow, Callisto, which is one of the prettiest eye shadows I own. One of my friends stated, "Callisto is everything." She wasn't exaggerating. It really is everything.

I love this wet/dry formula, I love this line of eye shadow colors, and I love this palette.

Do you have this NARSissist Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette? Are you thinking about getting it while it's still available? 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

EOTD: Sugarpill Penelope and Neutrals

I purchased this.

I did this look today featuring Sugarpill's new Chromalust loose pigment, Penelope. I'm not pleased with my crease blending, but the there's no denying the coppery gorgeousness of Penelope!





WHAT I USED:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Tarte Tartelette Palette:
  - Free Spirit on brow bone
  - Force of Nature as transition between brow bone and crease
  - Dreamer in upper crease and lower lash line
  - Multi-Tasker in deepest parts of the crease and outer lower lash line
  - Super Mom to highlight tear duct area
Sugarpill Penelope applied to lid using Darling Girl Cosmetics Superstar Serum
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Olive along upper lash line
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper very tightly against upper lashes
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (two coats)
Chinovi Cosmetics Brow Powders in Dark Brown and Deep Auburn

Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: Born Pretty Store Brow Powder, Mascara, and Lipstick

PR Samples.

Born Pretty Store is an online shop with all sorts of inexpensive Asian products. It's a great place to find makeup, fun accessories, and lots of random other goodies--all at a very low cost. They recently sent me these three items for review:




My reviews are mixed, so read on to see what I loved and what didn't impress me quite as much.

Before I get into the reviews, please note that readers of my blog get a special 10% discount at BornPrettyStore.com when you use code SKG10.

First up is the Cats Fiber Velvet Mascara.


Typically, I'm wary of anything with "fiber" in the description because I have such sensitive eyes. But I will admit, one reason I wanted to try this is the adorable packaging. Look how cute that little kitty-cat shaped mascara tube is!


The Cats Fiber Velvet Mascara wand is thick, but not oversize. If there are fibers in this mascara, I don't see them. This mascara has become my go-to mascara, and here are the reasons why:

Pros:
 - It does not irritate my eyes
 - It is very black -- a dark, deep, inky, black-as-your-soul kind of black
 - It applies evenly and without clumps
 - It does a great job of lengthening my short eyelashes
 - It lasts 15+ hours without smudging or flaking
 - It does all that for only $3.99 a tube!

Cons:
 - None

Here is a before picture of my eyelashes without anything on them:


Here is a picture of my lashes after applying two coats of Cats Fiber Velvet Mascara.  


I really love this mascara and definitely recommend it. I will buy more when I run out!


Next up is the Affectionate Love BB Gentle Double-Effect Eyebrow Powder.


When I opened the box, the first thing I noticed was the cracked plastic lid. However, things do happen during shipping, and I'm interested in the product much more than the packaging. Born Pretty Store didn't send me the color I'd selected, which was the second disappointment with this product--it's hard to review something that's not quite the right shade for you.


The Affectionate Love BB Gentle Double-Effect Eyebrow Powder has two shades of powder--one lighter, and one darker, plus a separate applicator brush. I received the powder in Shade #5. 

Swatch photographed in natural light

The formula isn't consistent between the two shades; the lighter shade is really chalky and poorly pigmented. The darker color is actually quite silky, and while it has stronger pigmentation, it's still pretty poor pigmentation overall. In order to get the two swatches above, I had to apply and reapply several times and this was the heaviest swatch I could get. The applicator brush that comes with the brow powder is really cheap and doesn't work at all to apply the powder. I ended up using my regular angled brow brush from MAC, and was able to fill in my brows that way.

This photo is the same as the "after" from the mascara photo above--you can see that I was able to fill in my brows, but not dark enough for my brow shade. This product would look better on someone with lighter brows. I also had a difficult time applying the shades evenly because of the poor pigmentation. I used the lighter shade on in the inner portion of my brow and the darker shade on the outer portion of my brow.


This is not a product I will use. It's the wrong color for me, it's poorly pigmented, the chalky consistency of the lighter shade is unpleasant, and overall, I was not impressed with it. This brow powder duo retails for $3.67 at Born Pretty Store.


Last up is the Bubu Lipstick.  


I received this lipstick in shade #9, which is not a color I'd have ever chosen for myself, as it appears bright pink on the website. The packaging is cute and actually pretty sturdy for an inexpensive product. In its listing, Born Pretty Store describes this product as both a lipstick and a lip gloss, which can be confusing for a casual shopper. This product is definitely a lipstick, but it has a glossy finish.
 
Swatch photographed in natural light

The lipstick has good coverage, applying smoothly and evenly. It feels smooth and natural on my lips. The staying power is about average for me, but after it has worn away, this lipstick leaves behind the slightest stain, leaving my lips with just a hint of pink that they don't have naturally.


While I don't care for this particular shade on me, it's still a pretty color and people who love pink lipsticks might really like this shade. Fortunately, the Bubu Lipstick comes in a total of 12 shades, and I definitely see a handful of them that look like they'd work with my skin tone and shade preferences. For only $2.99 each, I think this product is a steal. It's really good quality for a super low price, and at that price, you could buy one of each color you want.


To sum up, I am in love with the Cats Fiber Velvet Mascara, I like the Bubu lipstick, and I dislike the Affectionate Love Brow Powder Duo. The fact that the mascara is terrific has me over the moon because I'm currently in possession of about 25 different mascaras from my various attempts to find a mascara that I really love. The Cats Fiber Velvet Mascara is the first one I've found that has everything going for it and I really love how it works for me. 

As always, don't forget that readers of my blog get a special 10% discount at BornPrettyStore.com when you use code SKG10

Have you ever ordered from BornPrettyStore.com? What are your favorite products to get from them? 


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

EOTD with ColourPop Shaaanxo Collection

I purchased this.

I recently purchased the Shaaanxo eyeshadow quad from ColourPop. I'm just loving the ColourPop shadow formula, and when I saw this new collection, I had to pick it up. It's a gorgeous combo of colors that wear beautifully together.




WHAT I USED:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance all around eye area
Tarte Free Spirit on brow bone
ColourPop Shaaanxo collection:
  - Selfie in crease and beneath lower lash line
  - Deluxe on inner lid and beneath lower lash line
  - Rebel on outer lid
  - XO to highlight tear duct area
Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil in Corrupt lining upper lashes
Benefit They're Real! mascara
Shu Uemura Hard 9 Brow Pencil in Seal Brown

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Swatches: Darling Girl Cosmetics Ghoul School Collection

PR samples.

In just a few weeks--early March, I believe--Darling Girl Cosmetics will be releasing a new collection of eye shadows called "Ghoul School." Each color is inspired by Monster High dolls. I am not very familiar with Monster High at all, but I'm loving this collection. The colors are super pretty and sparkly, with quite a few blue, purple, and vampy colors.

I have a ton of swatch photos below, because there are quite a few that have subtle shift changes as the light changes. I also posted a few out-of-focus photos to show the intense sparkle some of them have.

Top row, L-R: Egyptian Princess, Equestrian Couture, Fierce Furry Fashionista, Goth Moth, Gothic Lolita
Middle row, L-R: Nerd Glasses, Mermaid Beach Babe, Pearls & Chains, Rockstar Diva, Scarisian Artist
Bottom row, L-R: Siren Chic, Snowboarding Cutie, Stitched In Style, Sugar Skull, Vegan Vampire

Top row, L-R: Egyptian Princess, Equestrian Couture, Fierce Furry Fashionista, Goth Moth, Gothic Lolita
Middle row, L-R: Nerd Glasses, Mermaid Beach Babe, Pearls & Chains, Rockstar Diva, Scarisian Artist
Bottom row, L-R: Siren Chic, Snowboarding Cutie, Stitched In Style, Sugar Skull, Vegan Vampire

Left column, bottom to top: Egyptian Princess, Equestrian Couture, Fierce Furry Fashionista, Goth Moth, Gothic Lolita
Middle column, bottom to top: Nerd Glasses, Mermaid Beach Babe, Pearls & Chains, Rockstar Diva, Scarisian Artist
Right column, bottom to top: Siren Chic, Snowboarding Cutie, Stitched In Style, Sugar Skull, Vegan Vampire

Left column, bottom to top: Egyptian Princess, Equestrian Couture, Fierce Furry Fashionista, Goth Moth, Gothic Lolita
Middle column, bottom to top: Nerd Glasses, Mermaid Beach Babe, Pearls & Chains, Rockstar Diva, Scarisian Artist
Right column, bottom to top: Siren Chic, Snowboarding Cutie, Stitched In Style, Sugar Skull, Vegan Vampire

Top row, L-R: Egyptian Princess, Equestrian Couture, Fierce Furry Fashionista, Goth Moth, Gothic Lolita
Middle row, L-R: Nerd Glasses, Mermaid Beach Babe, Pearls & Chains, Rockstar Diva, Scarisian Artist
Bottom row, L-R: Siren Chic, Snowboarding Cutie, Stitched In Style, Sugar Skull, Vegan Vampire

Top row, L-R: Egyptian Princess, Equestrian Couture, Fierce Furry Fashionista, Goth Moth, Gothic Lolita
Middle row, L-R: Nerd Glasses, Mermaid Beach Babe, Pearls & Chains, Rockstar Diva, Scarisian Artist
Bottom row, L-R: Siren Chic, Snowboarding Cutie, Stitched In Style, Sugar Skull, Vegan Vampire

Top row, L-R: Egyptian Princess, Equestrian Couture, Fierce Furry Fashionista, Goth Moth, Gothic Lolita
Middle row, L-R: Nerd Glasses, Mermaid Beach Babe, Pearls & Chains, Rockstar Diva, Scarisian Artist
Bottom row, L-R: Siren Chic, Snowboarding Cutie, Stitched In Style, Sugar Skull, Vegan Vampire

Left column, bottom to top: Egyptian Princess, Equestrian Couture, Fierce Furry Fashionista, Goth Moth, Gothic Lolita
Middle column, bottom to top: Nerd Glasses, Mermaid Beach Babe, Pearls & Chains, Rockstar Diva, Scarisian Artist
Right column, bottom to top: Siren Chic, Snowboarding Cutie, Stitched In Style, Sugar Skull, Vegan Vampire

Left column, bottom to top: Egyptian Princess, Equestrian Couture, Fierce Furry Fashionista, Goth Moth, Gothic Lolita
Middle column, bottom to top: Nerd Glasses, Mermaid Beach Babe, Pearls & Chains, Rockstar Diva, Scarisian Artist
Right column, bottom to top: Siren Chic, Snowboarding Cutie, Stitched In Style, Sugar Skull, Vegan Vampire

Left column, bottom to top: Egyptian Princess, Equestrian Couture, Fierce Furry Fashionista, Goth Moth, Gothic Lolita
Middle column, bottom to top: Nerd Glasses, Mermaid Beach Babe, Pearls & Chains, Rockstar Diva, Scarisian Artist
Right column, bottom to top: Siren Chic, Snowboarding Cutie, Stitched In Style, Sugar Skull, Vegan Vampire

Those of you who know and love the Monster High girls may appreciate having this little list of which doll inspired which color:

  • Egyptian Princess (Cleo de Nile)
  • Equestrian Couture (Avea Trotter)
  • Fierce Furry Fashionista (Clawdeen Wolf)
  • Goth Moth (Bonita Femur)
  • Gothic Lolita (Elissabat)
  • Nerd Glasses (Ghoulia Yelps)
  • Mermaid Beach Babe (Lagoona Blue)
  • Pearls & Chains (Sirena Von Boo)
  • Rockstar Diva (Catty Noir)
  • Scarisian Artist (Catrine DeMew)
  • Siren Chic (Casta Fierce)
  • Snowboarding Cutie (Abbey Bominable)
  • Stitched In Style (Frankie Stein)
  • Sugar Skull (Skelita Calaveras)
  • Vegan Vampire (Draculaura)


What do you think of this collection? Do you see any you must have? 

Tom Ford Casablanca Lipstick

This was gift. 

A week ago, a darling friend of mine, Cin over at CinSeven13 blog, along with her adorable son, surprised me with the gift of the #1 item that's been on my wishlist since last fall: Tom Ford's Casablanca lipstick.

I was in Selfridge's last September, and became almost faint with desire the moment I laid eyes on, and then swatched, Tom Ford's Casablanca lipstick. I knew that someday I would own it, but had no idea someone would gift it to me! When I opened the box and saw what was in it, my heart skipped a beat--several beats! I am so overwhelmed by Cin's generosity and so grateful. She broke my Tom Ford lipstick cherry and I'll never forget it.

Here is Casablanca in in all it's glory--my own, my love, my precious:


Casablanca is the perfect muted pink-brown. Or maybe it's brown-pink. It's what I refer to as a "chocolate pink" shade, which is my favorite shade to wear on my lips.


It's so incredibly pigmented and creamy. My lips are really dry right now from winter and the harsh winds that have been blowing the last couple of days, but the moment I put this lipstick on, my lips felt soft and supple and not remotely dry. The lipstick feels so decadent and luxurious on my lips. 

This shade is definitely perfect for me. And by perfect, I mean P.E.R.F.E.C.T. It's a life-changing lipstick if there ever was one!


I understand now why Tom Ford's lipsticks have such a hefty price tag, but now I don't know how I'll ever be able to go back to other brands of lipstick again. My Tom Ford lipstick wishlist is now growing like crazy. Looks like someone needs to get a second job! :)